Monday, November 27, 2006

Movies Games and Videos

During getting my website back up and running and preparing an actual update for it, I realised I’ve not used this for one of the main reasons I originally set it up. When I updated my website I usually covered what movies, games and comics I’ve been watching/playing/reading. Due to my lameness at getting updates done it always bugged me that it got ignored. So here we are, and hopefully I’ll get this done once a month.

On the movie front we of course have Casino Royale. I applaud the makers abandoning the formula that has been ruining Bond films of recent and returning to the books with the very first one that somehow never got made. The film is great, and I could barely believe I was watching a Bond film, and I was delighted to see a third of the film dedicated to a poker game.

On the TV I’m quite pleased at the Legion of Superheroes show, and I’m ashamed to say I’ve not yet got around to watching Heroes. Other than that I’m sticking with the shows I’ve talked about many times on here.

As already stated I’ve recently bought an Xbox 360 and am I glad I did. Apart from the initial gamertag issues (see Mini Rants entry below) things have been going great. First game I got was Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Nothing majorly different from X-Men Legends 2, and what they have changed is for the better. Less item slots makes gear management a damn site easier, though my RPG heavy team mates bemoan this particular change. Instead the costumes have different abilities and you pick which costume suits your gameplay. Also Extreme Powers work on meter you build up rather than based on pickups making them much easier to use and more rewarding, though I’m not keen on ‘everybody uses it all at once’. At times it’s way too much overkill. Also the new team management is quite cool, and adds a bit more depth to the game.

On games that are actually next gen I bought Dead Rising. This game is great. If you’ve got a 360 you need this game. I’m thoroughly enjoying going back through this game for the 100%, unlike most games where I just feel the need to do it. I also broke my promise to myself and started playing Oblivion. I always said I’d lose my life if I started playing, and to prove my point I’ve lost a lot of hours without even realising it.

Comics wise, nothing much has changed. I’m looking to dropping a few titles but I’m not 100% made up my mind yet. I’m still loving Civil War, though I need to limit the amount of titles I’m getting for it, it’s become a bit all encompassing for my collection. Really need to get hold of more Invincible, reread the first trade, the only one I own and am craving the next book, but need to hold off till the New Year.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Catching Up

Going through my old rants on Monday as I was sorting my website out I realised I talked a lot about shows that have had a good run and some have even ended, and my opinions weren't necessarily the same now as they were on seeing one or two of the episodes. I even feel I need to talk more on the new Fantastic Four now that I've watched more than two episodes.

But first the big one, Justice League Unlimited. This currently rules supreme as the best superhero animated series ever. Ongoing story arcs that built up over the season with a huge payoff at the end, especially the Cadmus arc. Green Arrow clearly making it into one of the big names alongside GL and Supes. Even with the massive cast they stuck with the GL/Hawkgirl romance, making it a love triangle with Vixen with the added complication of John meeting his and Shayera's future son. This brings us to one of my favourite points, tying it all into Batman Beyond. Not only did we have the time travel story featuring the Beyond JLU from 'The Call', but we had the episode that should have been the last ever episode of the entire DCUA universe, Epilogue. OK, so it was extremely Batman centric, but it linked everything from the start of Batman: The Animated series to JLU through Batman Beyond. If you've not seen any JLU stop making excuses and Get It Done!

Three years ago I wrote my first rant and it was about Teen Titans and overly I was quite enthusiastic about the show. That enthusiasm carried right through to the end of the movie. In some parts it increased. For instance I now regard the theme tune as a fantastic piece of J-Pop. I loved the fact the series could be deadly serious one show and deal with Robin being too focused then the next just go off on one and the Titans get trapped in a magic hat. The Mad Mod episodes always surprised me with how experimental they were being, especially as this was far more of a kids show than JLU. The characters grew on me and Starfire stopped annoying me, though I still prefer the comic’s version. My biggest problem was it's last season, the season before had been fantastic, but then they went travelling the world and meeting new Titans in order to warn them, and the show felt really shallow during these episodes.

As I already mentioned, I've watched a few more episodes now and while it hasn't grown on me a huge amount, there are a couple of things that have warmed me to it. HERBIE as the Baxter Building's AI is a great little touch. Its become obvious that it's based on the movie continuity except Doom is the comic version, which makes sense since Movie Doom was terrible. The Human Torch is annoying the hell out of me, which is rather troubling since he's my favourite. He's far too stupid, he's meant to be cocky not an idiot. Most importantly we've had another episode building on the Kree/Skrull war, with a fantastic prequel to the debut of the Super-Skrull and a twist at the end. More than anything else, this has got me watching more of the series.

Finally, we have Smallville back on. Zod was a rather good episode but nothing spectacular as the last episode of the previous season was. So far the new series is quite good. Thankfully we've been given a new reason for people being super powered instead of Kryptonite powered humans, though the first one felt like a rip off of Poison Ivy. This season we have a young Oliver Queen, and just like JLU they've got the character down, though this is millionaire play boy Queen instead of the fighting for the everyman Queen. I've yet to see the episode where he properly goes out and about in a costume, but the cheek of the producers having him go to a fancy dress party as Robin Hood, but actually put Ollie in the pre-Infinite Crisis GA costume was wonderful. I think it'll be good for Clark to meet someone who enjoys the life of a costume hero for his progression to wearing his underpants on the outside, unlike the Angel of Vengeance *cough*Huntress*cough* we had last season. My hatred of Lana Lang grows ever more with each passing episode, hopefully now she's with Lex she can die a horrible death that will finally put Lex on top of the evil chain where he's been travelling towards for the whole of Smallville's run.

Don't worry, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is coming, I'm just trying to finish it before I talk about it. Also Legion of Superheroes once I've seen a few more episodes (I am learning), but so far so good.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mini Rants

Nothing outstanding for me, but a few little things. Finally got round to the Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. Good movie that carried on from the series in a great way, hopefully we see more things like this and Ultimate Avengers then we do Superman: Brainiac Attacks. Bring on the Hellboy movie.

Got an X-Box 360 this weekend. I was all happy through out Saturday and Sunday. More to come on Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. However, I had some trouble with setting up my X-Box Live account. You see I have been on Live before with my old X-Box but got bored and the account was cancelled. There I am trying to reactivate it but I just don't have the info, which is well over a year old. In my desperation I actually ring Microsoft's helpline to get them to reactivate it then I can update the details. After pretending to be Chris and waiting for 5 minutes while the guy prats about, I'm told it was cancelled. Which I knew. However, it turns out when Microsoft cancel an account it can never be touched ever again and that Gamertag is lost to the world. No more NightJim. Sucks big hairy elephant balls. So I've resorted to KnightJim. Bloody Microsoft.

New Robin Hood on BBC isn't all that, first episode suffered from trying to play it too lightly, the following episodes have improved on that front, but something about it doesn't sit quite right. It may be how Dave put it, it's far too clean for medieval times.

Got Agent X, was disappointed by how little Gail Simone wrote of it, first and last stories. Hers are easily the best in the series, one of the others actually reading like a through and through Deadpool story, which is against the whole point of the book. Alex desperately was trying to be different to our man Wade.